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Forest Canopy LAI and Vertical FAVD Profile Inversion from Airborne Full-Waveform LiDAR Data Based on a Radiative Transfer Model

by Han Ma 1,2,3, Jinling Song 1,2,* and Jindi Wang 1,2
1
State Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
2
School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lars T. Waser and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Remote Sens. 2015, 7(2), 1897-1914; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs70201897
Received: 7 October 2014 / Revised: 23 January 2015 / Accepted: 29 January 2015 / Published: 9 February 2015
Forest canopy leaf area index (LAI) is a critical variable for the modeling of climates and ecosystems over both regional and global scales. This paper proposes a physically based method to retrieve LAI and foliage area volume density (FAVD) profile directly from full-waveform Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR) data using a radiative transfer (RT) model. First, a physical interaction model between LiDAR and a forest scene was built on the basis of radiative transfer theories. Next, FAVD profile of each laser shot of full-waveform LiDAR was inverted using the physical model. In addition, the missing LiDAR data, caused by high-density forest and LiDAR system limitations, were filled in based on the inverted FAVD and the ancillary CHM data. Finally, LAI of the study area was retrieved from the inverted FAVD at a 10-m resolution. CHM derived LAI based on the Beer-Lambert law was compared with the LAI derived from full-waveform data. Also, we compared the results with the field measured LAI. The values of correlation coefficient r and RMSE of the estimated LAI were 0.73 and 0.67, respectively. The results indicate that full-waveform LiDAR data is a reliable data source and represent a useful tool for retrieving forest LAI. View Full-Text
Keywords: full-waveform LiDAR; LAI; FAVD; radiative transfer model full-waveform LiDAR; LAI; FAVD; radiative transfer model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ma, H.; Song, J.; Wang, J. Forest Canopy LAI and Vertical FAVD Profile Inversion from Airborne Full-Waveform LiDAR Data Based on a Radiative Transfer Model. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 1897-1914.

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